The Great Big Blue

On the trail at Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore Park, California July 2012

On the trail at Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore Park, California
July 2012

It’s been a week since I submitted my final word count to Camp NaNoWriMo and my brain still feels as empty as this great expanse of sky. I’ve written little since: mostly comments, an attempt at poetry during a downturn in my mood, and the ubiquitous note-keeping I do at my day job. I had thought of planning to edit one or both of the novels I’ve written in the past 6 months. Remember, they are both first drafts so editing will open the opportunity (and challenge) of rewriting. But … always there is a but … my physical environment is suffering from neglect and my other projects are demanding their due.

For one, I’m engaged in The Knitting Guild Association’s (TKGA’s) Master Hand Knitting Program, Level 1. For those of you interested in such endeavors, here’s a link: http://www.tkga.com/?page=AboutTKGAMasters

I actually had completed Level 1 almost 20 years ago, started Level 2 and then just quit. I am an avid knitter and have been knitting for over 40 years. I can also sew and crochet, but knitting has always defined me. I’ve made everything from baby blankets to cardigans to socks to shawls to scarves to pullovers. As the years go by, my knitting has become simpler, except for the socks and a venture into Entralec.

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In recent years, I’ve resisted patterns like cardigans that require lots of finishing. Even with socks, I prefer to knit toe-up two-at-a-time because that method requires the least amount of planning and finishing. So why am I enrolled in the Level 1 Master program again? (Beside the fact that after 20 years, the association has updated its standards and requirements.) In truth, because I thought if I ever attempt to sell my knitting, it might be helpful if I could be “certified” as a Master Knitter and for that, you need to complete all three levels of the Master program. But knitting is labor-intensive and selling would only work if I was willing to do it for free. And, once knitting becomes a job, the joy goes out of it for me.

My writing is much like my knitting: I love the process (the knitting, the writing). I love the end product (the sweater, the novel), but I don’t like everything I have to do to get there (the sewing of seams, the editing). And, as with knitting, once the “fun” goes out of writing, so goes the writing.

After all these years of writing and knitting, I feel like I’m still discovering myself as a writer and a knitter. And I’m starting to let go of that urgency to “Be” something or someone, to define myself by someone else’s precepts. I’m a contrary student: I love to learn but I hate instructions. I love to find out something new, but I hate being told what to do.

Yet I intend to finish Level 1 of the Master program, even if I have to write a two-page, single-spaced report on blocking (really, is there that much to be said on blocking?). Level 2 will depend on how much of Level 1 I might be asked to re-do. And with my writing, it will be easier to simply create anew rather than rework what I already have. We’ll see. For now, I have some knitting to finish.

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4 Comments

  1. have you considered self-publishing?

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    • Actually, I have considered self publishing, but I need to really finish something :). Of course, that’s part of the challenge. When do you know a novel, a collection of short stories or essays is ready for publication? You have to draw the line somewhere, even when you know you could keep editing. I’m just not there yet ;)

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  2. Lau

     /  May 7, 2013

    How wonderful! I wish I could knit! My mum tried to teach me but I fear I have two left hands :( I am so impressed that you wrote 2 novels in 6 months! Well done!!

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    • Thanks so much! I have lots of friends who don’t knit, but they do things that I can’t ( or don’t want to) … Keeps things in balance ;). I have to admit, I didn’t think it was in me to do 1 novel, much less 2. But the real test is yet to come: will I edit and actually make these novels worthy of an audience? Stay tuned ;)

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